NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As teams around Major League Baseball secure the long-term future of their young stars, the Orioles have inquired about the possibility of doing the same with two of their top talents, according to the players’ agent.

Scott Boras, who represents Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday, said Wednesday the Orioles reach out to him regarding an extension for the infielders “only once or twice a day.”

“Those kinds of things, obviously we listen, and Mike [Elias] and I talk a lot,” Boras continued. “Obviously, our job is to filter those phone calls and relay them to the player, and kind of discuss it and see if it’s something that the player himself is interested in.”

Elias, the Orioles’ executive vice president and general manager, has dodged specific extension questions over the years regarding Henderson, Holliday and catcher Adley Rutschman. On Monday, Elias said extensions are “something we quietly work on in the background, and I hope if we find good deals — we certainly have good players — I hope if we find the right deals, which is not easy to do, then we’re able to add some of those to the list from the Orioles.”

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Beyond that, however, Elias has purposefully stayed mum on the subject, opting against negotiating extensions in public. Historically, Boras has advised his clients to test the open market rather than sign a contract extension early with their club, which complicates any extension discussions.

Another complication came from an interview with Orioles chairman and CEO John Angelos in The New York Times in August. In that story, Angelos said in order to retain their young stars, “we’re going to have to raise the prices here — dramatically.”

“Let’s say we sat down and showed you the financials for the Orioles,” Angelos told The Times (Angelos has offered just that to the Orioles’ beat reporters twice, although there was no follow-through). “You will quickly see that when people talk about giving this player $200 million, that player $150 million, we would be so financially underwater that you’d have to raise the prices massively. Now, are people going to come and pay that?”

Henderson earned the 2023 American League Rookie of the Year award, a distinction that — beyond his play — will only elevate the price of whatever an extension might require. The 22-year-old hit .255 with an .814 on-base-plus-slugging percentage while playing third base and shortstop.

Holliday, meanwhile, tore through the minor leagues, and he has positioned himself to potentially break spring training with the Orioles. Manager Brandon Hyde said Holliday will be given “every opportunity” to make the club, and Elias said it’s “definitely a very strong possibility” that Holliday will be there on opening day.

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The 20-year-old rose four levels of the minors in 2023, ending the year in Triple-A. At each stage, Holliday appeared at ease with the challenge. As catcher James McCann said Wednesday: “He looks 12 in the face and acts like a 40-year-old veteran.”

There’s recent precedent for signing a highly ranked prospect before their major league debut. The Milwaukee Brewers signed 19-year-old outfielder Jackson Chourio to an eight-year, $82 million deal this week.

Under Elias, the Orioles haven’t handed out a contract guaranteeing a player longer than one year.

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville.

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